Customer Reviews


30 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A respectful and hugely enjoyable remake
Given the woefully weak standard of some US remakes (The Wicker Man, The Office and The Ring spring to mind) and given that I was a huge fan of the original Life on Mars, I approached this DVD set with a hefty degree of trepidation. 10 minutes into the first episode though, I knew that I needn't have worried! Sure the retro theme and the remembered icons are largely...
Published on 11 July 2011 by Cartimand

versus
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I am a huge fan of Life on Mars and (slightly less so) of Ashes to Ashes so really only bought the US version out of curiosity and for completeness. I must say I found it very entertaining although, perhaps by the nature of US TV, generally lacking the depth of the UK original in terms of storyline & characters. I found the ending poor and personally thought they missed...
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by Green Man


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 4 Aug 2010
By 
Green Man (Bingley, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am a huge fan of Life on Mars and (slightly less so) of Ashes to Ashes so really only bought the US version out of curiosity and for completeness. I must say I found it very entertaining although, perhaps by the nature of US TV, generally lacking the depth of the UK original in terms of storyline & characters. I found the ending poor and personally thought they missed an opportunity as they touched on a great alternative path in the final episode that, in my view, would have been superb ( I won't explain further as I don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment).There are some nice, original, differences in some of the stories which keep you enthralled. All in all well worth buying, but a flawed gem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars poor copy, 26 Feb 2010
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Usually the idea that the Yanks are to remake a quality English show fills me with dread, but I was really looking forward to this... I shouldn't have got excited.

The most enjoyable bits are where you can see a different slant on the original storylines, but far too often they go off and try to do better, only to come up with plot twists that don't make sense.

Neither of the lead actors (Sam or Gene) are a patch on the originals - Harvey Keitel especially demonstrates why he never really made it to the big time.

Worst of all, they took the original ending - one of my favourite pieces of television for years - and completely rewrote it. I won't ruin it by going into the details, but I honestly watched the last 15 minutes with my jaw on the floor.

If you have to buy a DVD today, go for the original version and watch it again, then work your way through Ashes to Ashes. Then, and only then, should you consider the remake.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A respectful and hugely enjoyable remake, 11 July 2011
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Given the woefully weak standard of some US remakes (The Wicker Man, The Office and The Ring spring to mind) and given that I was a huge fan of the original Life on Mars, I approached this DVD set with a hefty degree of trepidation. 10 minutes into the first episode though, I knew that I needn't have worried! Sure the retro theme and the remembered icons are largely American here (Sam's first shock is seeing the twin towers of the World Trade Centre still standing), but they are recognisable enough to British viewers to still have powerful resonance. Delightfully, Sam "invents" rap and Michael Jackson's moonwalk and his attempts to explain anachronistically what mobiles and laptops are provides some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The cast is pretty good and parallels the British casting very well. Jason O'Mara is a sympathetic and likeable Sam and Michael Imperioli makes an excellent Ray. It is Gretchen Mol though who often steals the show as Annie - wise and enlightened beyond her years. I wasn't entirely convinced by Harvey Keitel though. Let's face it Philip Glenister IS Gene Hunt and Mr. Keitel struck me as coming over a bit too much like a caricature of Danny DeVito at first. By episode 12 though, Keitel shows some hidden depths and I'd started to warm to him.

The music was brilliant in the original version and it was great to hear British music being well represented here - notably The Sweet, The Who, T-Rex, The Moody Blues and, of course, Bowie.

The story-lines are sometimes virtually shot-for-shot copies of the original but, other times, they diverge significantly (most notably in the series finale). They are, however, always compelling and entertaining.

To summarise, as a big sci-fi fan, I've always been a sucker for the old time-travel motif, and it's rarely been done with a greater sense of fun and wonder than in Life on Mars. Perhaps not quite as sublimely brilliant as the original, but this US adaptation is still a wonderfully entertaining box set, which I have no hesitation in recommending very highly indeed. You won't regret buying this!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weirdly Addicting Show, 3 Nov 2009
By 
Mark Baker (Santa Clarita, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) is a cop living in 2008. He's actually a very successful New York City Detective. While working on one particularly tough case, Sam is hit by a car and wakes up to find himself in 1973. He finds that he has just been transferred to a precinct in New York and finds himself working on a case that just might matter to his 2008 self.

But Sam continues to find himself trapped in 1973. His modern, politically correct ways are out of step with his new co-workers, especially in their attitude of Annie (Gretchen Mol), the lone female who wishes to be recognized as a real detective. He finds his more modern methods occasionally help out with cases. Then there are the cases that bring him into contact with his father, mother, and himself as a boy.

All the while, Sam searches for a way to return home. Will the weird clues he gets help? Or is he stuck in 1973 for the rest of his life?

I've never seen the BBC original version, but I got caught up in the hype that surrounded this show when it premiered last fall. It took me a few episodes to fully get hooked, but when I did, I didn't want to miss an episode. These characters all grew on you. This included not only the two I mentioned, but Sam's fellow detectives Ray (Michael Imperioli) and Chris (Jonathan Murphy) and their lieutenant Gene Hunt (Harvey Keitel). The differences in methods and the storylines brought in from that time period were fascinating. And I kept trying to figure out what was happening to Sam.

Of course, that also provides the biggest conflict over the show. When ABC canceled the show, they allowed the producers to make one last episode to wrap everything up. Fans seem to be pretty evenly divided over the ending. Initially, I thought it was too far out in left field, but the more I have thought about it, the more I feel it does make sense. There were clues given through the show that actually make it work.

Even if you don't buy the ending, you can still enjoy the period piece, drama, and comedy of the show. There are sixteen solid episodes before you get to the questionable finale.

This show isn't for everyone (which is why the ratings tanked and it crashed). But if you want some 70's nostalgia, give it a chance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an enjoyable, but flawed remake, 7 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
My initial impressions before seeing this show, was that it was going to be no were near as good as the original British version, which is also one of my favourite shows ever. While this remake is in my opinion not as good as the original, it is however a very enjoyable and entertaining tv show.

the show does do a very good job at recreating 1970s new york with many cultural references and events which happened around that time, such as the anti war riots and the Irish gangs. in addition, the acting from everyone is very good, particulalry from Jason O' Mara and Michael Imperiolli (who plays a drastically different depiction of Ray, in contrast to Dean Andrews portrayal in the original). the storylines are also inventive in how the writer's have taken elements and storylines from the original series and added their own twists and ideas to the show, which helps to give the show its own identity.

despite this, the show does have some flaws. as already mentioned, this remake is no where near as good as the original. another one of these flaws is Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt. while Keitel is a good actor and his acting credit is seen here, I felt he was miscast as Gene. while he does display the same brutish attitude, he is unable to deliver the same level of tongue and cheek humor that the original character (played by Phil Glenister) had. furthermore, the ending to the series is very poor and one of the main reasons which drags the show down.

in terms of special features on the DVD, there isn't much here. their's some deleted scenes and bloopers which are of course entertaining to watch. It would have been nice to have a behind the scenes documentary on the disc as well.

overall, Life on Mars USA is an enjoyable, if not flawed remake. if you look at it as a show on it's own, it is pretty decent, however if you compare it to the UK version, it is simply not as good. Anyone that is a fan of the original version, should definitely give this a look, and even if you haven't, its still worth watching
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars US, 14 Feb 2012
By 
J Elliot (Tamworth, Staffs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
It certainly seems that in recent years many US networks feel so out of their depths compared to British TV that they have to try and remake all hit British shows. The office, and most recently Sherlock are two good examples. I had been a massive fan of the original Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes - and only really picked this DVD up because I wanted to see more. I'll be honest, I wasn't optimistic, I was expecting a half-arse copy like most US remakes are. This was not actualy the case...

This show is a real mixed bag for the original Life on Mars viewer. Firstly, it should be noted that when comparing the two shows, the UK wins hands-down. You can see this most clearly in episode 1. I'd say about 90% of that episode is copied-and-pasted directly from the UK script, and when it comes to these parts the how is at time almost unwatchable. The production values just aren't as high, or are the actors as good. It was especially cringe worthy to watch Keitel's performance as Gene Hunt, and immediatly it is obvious that he is no where near the standard Phiilip Glenister set for his character. I'm happy to say tough, that fter episode 1 these complaints mainly die away, as the show slowly finds it's feet and becomes more original.
By episode 6 I would say, the show has matured and found itself. Whereas in many cases viewers of the original show will be able to pick up on aspects of stories copied from the original, it's nice to report that it's evident that the US show has taken these original story arcs, and rewrote them rather than just copied them. In a couple of cases, I actualy think the US surpasses the UK, however this is not geeraly the case. Then, as the series wears on, we start to get some truly original plots, some of which are excelent, some of which aren't. You'l have to decide for yourself what you think of them, but personally I can say they are genrally really enjoyable.
The second main think to talk about is characters. Firstly, NONE of the characters anywhere throughout the series, come close to hiting the bar set by the originals.
Chris Skelton isn't as likeable or as funny, whereas he was my favourite in he UK series, in the US series he really was just the slightly thick supporting detective. That said, he does have some nice moments later on in the series where we learn a bit more about him, and his hopes and dreams, which I tought were well done.
Ray Carling is completey differnt from the saracstic "prick" Dean Andrews expertly created in the original. He is still just as raucous and outgoing, as well as often spiteful, but whreas in the original there was always great tension between Ray and Sam, that was always tengible and edgy, in this it is non-existent. ALthough we are told several times "Ray hates Sam", most of the tme they are very chummy and even get along as friends. It's an adjustment for the original viewer, but it works well.
Sam Tyler is just pretty much the same, even down to the leather jacket and flared trousers, although in general I didn'tfel for him as much, he isn't as strong a character as when Simm was in charge, nor is his moral compass as straight. That said, O'Mara was a good casting, he is never a good as Simm, but of the lost probably the best.
Annie "Norse" (rather than Cartwright) is boring, uninteresting and not a strong love interest for Sam, I think that's all that needs to be said.
Gene Hunt is the most interesting reimagining of any charcter out of the lot. Any fan of the orginal will know that Philip Glenister IS Gene Hunt. Rude, sarcastic, some great one-liners, but underneath a strong and good character. There is no way around the fact that any new actor was going to fail before Glenister, but, as attempts go, Harvey Keitel's Gene Hunt is as good as it gets. Gone are the one-liners and sarcastic outbursts, and in place we have a still abrasive, but toned-down character. Gene display uch more readily is desire to "help", and in all is a much more reserved character, but is no doubt still a strong presence in the station, and definatly the one in charge. Keitel gets full marks for effort here, his version of Gene is refreshingly different from Glenister's, but ultimatly Glenister will always be the TRUE Gene Hunt.

In all a surprisingly good attempt at remaking an excelent series. 8/10 for plot, 7/10 for characters (as compared to the perfect score I would have given the original). Watch the orginal, then watch the sequel Ashes to Ashes, and if you still want more this is definatly a good place to turn.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just DON'T watch the last 10 minutes, 26 Sep 2010
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a real sucker for early 70s New York culture, and although I of course knew it was always going to struggle to go down as well as the brilliant original version, I was prepared to give it ago.... and I was really impressed.... or rather I was until the last 10 minutes. So I beg you, watch this and enjoy it, but TURN IT OFF BEFORE THE LAST SCENE. I have never seen something ruined so quickly and so terminally as the last scene here. I know that the ending was forced due to network interference and the show getting cancelled so it needed to be wrapped up quickly, but there can be no excuse for this. I felt robbed and cheated. I had invested many hours in the series and then it was ripped away by the most preposterous ending in the history of TV.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series, comparing well to the original., 28 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Wasn't sure what I was going to make of this as the UK shows don't always translate well across the pond, but this one did. I think it's because they understood the difference in genre between the 1970's British cop show (Sweeney and the like) and the 1970's American cop show (Streets of San Francisco and the like). This definitely worked tor the American cop show the same way Life On Mars (UK) did for the British cop show.

Was a little disappointed by the ending though, tied up all too neatly for my liking, but every single episode up to the last was excellent. The last was good, but as I said, not to my personal taste - I don't mind a bit of vagueness and I think the series would have been better off with a slightly less clear ending - to keep up the mystique.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not that bad!, 23 July 2010
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
The american version of Life On Mars is actually a very enjoyable series. While Harvey Kietel is slightly miscast as Gene Hunt, he does do his best with it. Jason O'Mara is good as the american version of Sam Tyler and the rest of the cast are good too. It's well made, the pilot episode is excellent and Sam's reaction when he sees the twin towers still standing is priceless. Unfortunately the ending is truly terrible and is one of the worst endings of any series since the last episode of Star Trek Enterprise which completely undermines all the hard work and effort that had come before it. A lot of episodes are straight copies of the original british versions but they're very well done. If you loved the british version as i did and are fearing the worst, then don't. It's a very enjoyable series, but they mess up the ending, the american network must have obviously never gotten the point or feared our ending was too controversial. The american ending takes the title of the show litterally.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Life on Mars, but not as we know it, 31 May 2010
By 
Mr. S. Kerfoot (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
First a declaration; I'm a big Life on Mars fan. The original series is one of the most original and enjoyable drama series in television history. It is more or less flawless, and as such, the American version was always going to have it's work cut out for it. Unfortunately, it didn't match up, which is a shame, because it had potential.

The UK episodes were an hour long, as with most US series, the episodes had to be shorter to fit the hour with adverts. This lead to cuts, the first problem. Using episode one as an example, the roof scene with Sam and Annie was cut. As has been mentioned, this wouldn't have gone down as well in the US, but they managed to do it on Flashforward without much reaction. But the drama of that key part of the episode vanished.

Mostly, the actors did well in their parts, but they were simply echoes of the originals. PG ans the UK Gene Hunt had such an edge, especially in series one, that it was going to be impossible to match. Plus, the US was never going to allow quite the flow of insults possible in the UK. Not that the US cops of the time would have used them in any case.

Then there's the final episode. Where even to start on that nonsense. A bland, slap-dash, cobbled together pile of ideas, all knitted together by the need to tie up loose ends because the show had been cancelled. I recall Rob Lowe in a series after he left West Wing. The show was cancelled, so in the last episode he basically tore up the rule book and went out with a bang.

Any talk of having to conform to US sensabilities doesn't wash. If the show is cancelled, you can do what you like in the last episode, you aren't coming back. In all honesty, I wouldn't put this on the same shelf as Life on Mars, (UK) or Ashes to Ashes, which of course the US can't ruin now, thank goodness for small mercies.

To me, the US version of LoM is rather like the new Doctor Who since DT left. It has the same features, you can tell everyone's trying, but it doesn't work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD]
Life on Mars - Season 1 [DVD] by Jason O'Mara (DVD - 2010)
£21.27
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews